Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break

For most of Spring Break, we packed up and headed to Thatcher to spend the time with Grandma and Grandpa and cousins. It was also the Herring's spring break, which was perfect, because my boys have such a good time with her boys. Grandpa was definitely the star of the show this week. He borrowed a train (the kind made from oil barrels and powered by a lawnmower) from a friend and gave the kids rides several times. They usually ended up at the park for awhile to play and then headed back home with lots of twists and turns. I had my camera out and ready for the first train ride, only to discover that my battery was dead with no charger. So much for spring break pictures! The boys also cornered Grandpa in his workshop and talked him into making wooden swords for everyone. He was a good sport about it and even made Carter a new one after he busted his first one within an hour. The visit was really nice for me, too. I enjoyed a long walk, lunch, cards, and good conversation with my sister - which doesn't happen nearly often enough! The biggest highlight of our trip for me (aside from picking Eric up for a week at the end of it!) was running into my old violin teacher. She asked me if I've kept up with my violin much, which I had to ashamedly answer "no"(with the promise of intent to start up again soon). She invited me to her house that evening for a violin lesson and it was SOOO much fun! I drove home giddy. I'd forgotten how much I really do enjoy my violin and it has rekindled a desire to learn how to play it again. I really appreciated her kindness and thoughtfulness. After Thatcher, we went to Phoenix to pick Eric up at the airport for a whole week's visit! He had to change to an earlier flight because of delays with his previous one, which was an extra bonus. We picked him up, treated the kids to IHOP (which to them is almost as good as Disneyland) and came home. HOME! It was so nice to be home with my family. What a great spring break!

Monday, March 21, 2011

"The Thunderer"

For a Daddy and some grandparents who wished they could have been there, and for whoever else has the desire to watch it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm calling it official

Put on your safety gear....Ian's walking!

He's been standing up for quite a while now and taking just a few steps, but that was it. Since Friday he has decided that walking is fun and he's now doing it about 50% of the time. He still sits down about every 10 steps or so, but then he stands back up and keeps going. Watch out!

Piano Ensemble

Saturday night Isaac performed in the Tucson Music Teacher's Association 58th Piano Ensemble "Shall We Dance?". We have been preparing for this since November or December and he did a fabulous job. We've been going to UofA every Saturday for the last month for rehearsals. The practices were closed, but they let Eric into one since he wouldn't be able to make the actual concert. Their conductor was Dr. Kolosick and Eric said he was great with the kids. We're really glad that Isaac was able to have this experience. It has been really neat. The concert was at Centennial Hall. They had 12 grand pianos on stage, with as many as 36 students playing at once on some pieces. There were 24 for Isaac's song. He performed the secondo part for "The Thunderer."

Some may think Isaac is posing here. Really, he is just asking if he can PLEASE climb the tree in his Sunday best. Ha!

Isaac and his piano partner, Jacob, waiting for the concert to begin.

Can you find him? He's the fourth one in on the middle row of pianos.

Seventh from the left. He looked so handsome up there!
His friends, Caleb and Amy, came to support him (Natalie, too!). They were so cute. I think they were as proud of Isaac as I was. Next year we'll get to watch all three of them.

Isaac claimed that he wasn't a bit nervous. Just really excited. I'm glad he had such a good time. Great job, kiddo!

"Oh...The Dead Animal Museum?"

I was talking to Eric on the phone and told him that we were planning a trip to the International Wildlife Museum as an official kick-off to Spring Break.

"The Wildlife Museum."
"The one with all of the stuffed animals."
"Oh...The Dead Animal Museum?"
"Yes, dear."

We have that exact conversation EVERY time I mention this museum. I personally think it's really neat because you get to see all sorts of animals up close and get a real idea of what they're like - skin, size, fur, teeth, etc. Eric prefers the zoo. Good thing there's both in Tucson!

Alligator wrestling, anyone?

The ONLY time I'd be willing to stand under a giraffe!

The lions were my personal favorite. Who knew they had such cute faces?

We had a really fun time. Now I feel like it's vacation! We topped it off with some icecream from McDonald's and then a yummy dinner with our friends, the Caldwells. Hooray for Spring Break!

St. Patty's Day

Those mischevious leprechauns trashed our house again! Tables and benches overturned, newspaper everywhere, pillows out of place.....what a mess! There was even toilet paper hanging from our light.

The kids couldn't figure out how the leprechauns got their shoes up on the fan. I couldn't figure out how they got the dust on the fan!

Ian wasn't as worried about the 'how's and what's' of our messy house. He was more concerned about devouring his green eggs and pancakes. It's amazing how that leprechaun dust turns everything green - even the milk!

The boys worked really hard on their leprechaun traps, but all they caught were a few pieces of gold chocolate. I'm sure the traps would have worked if we would have implemented the lasers and video cameras that were in their original design, but I convinced them to scale it down.

I'm sure next year will be the year. Don't worry - they'll be planning for the next 11 months. Hooray for St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tappin' Good Time

Ashlyn started taking a dance class back in October. It's a ballet/jazz/tap combo. They don't have recitals for her age, but they have Observation Day where we can go in the last 15 min of class and watch them tap. I didn't get any action shots, but I did get a video of her that I love. Her first Observation Day was in mid-December, and then we just had another one two weeks ago.

She started taking because of her friend, Evie. Ashlyn went with her once to try it out and had such a good time we signed her up!

At the end of class, they line up with their hands on their head so they can get a stamp.

Evie switched over to gymnastics, but luckily her friend, Alexa joined in.

I think she's so stinkin' cute in her dance clothes and I have had a ball watching her try so hard to do what her teacher does - even if it doesn't always turn out just right. She's even tried to teach her brothers a move or two.

Ashlyn and Alexa decided that they'd like to try gymnastics now, too, but there is a waiting list.
Hopefully we'll get her started up in August when school starts again. Little girls are fun!

Fossil Dig

Isaac had a piano practice down at UofA, so we decided to hit the Desert Museum on the way (or way out of the way) home. We didn't have a lot of time, so I let the kids choose what they wanted to see and do. We of course hit the Fossil Dig. I had my camera with me, but was determined not to take any pictures because it seems like every time we go, that's the only place I take them at. I was doing so well until Ian joined in. The four of them were working SOOO hard, I just couldn't resist. They actually dug something out this time. Each of them came home with at least a piece of a fossil. They are convinced the fossils are real. I am convinced they're not - but at least everyone was happy!

Who can enter or leave the museum without a ride on the javelinas?
We had a great time - just like every time. We just don't go often enough. We need to make better use of our membership!

Birthday Princess

Ashlyn is another year older and wiser. She is now four years old, which is not three. Hooray! We'd barely gotten out of bed before everyone was crowded around Nana and Papa's package that had been torturing them all weekend long. It may have been for Ashlyn, but it was still quite the family affair.

She loves her new clothes and I love her special ability to pose.

We figured we might as well dig into the pillow cases while we were at it.

It was a close competition with new dresses and Rapunzel, but I think her gumball machine won best gift of the year.

At her request, we had german pancakes for breakfast. She does NOT like donuts, but we still got her birthday dozen from Crispy Cremes for the rest of us to enjoy!

We sent the boys off to school then loaded up for her preschool fieldtrip to the firestation. Let the partying begin!

After the firestation, we had to hurry home. It was time to princessify! We were expecting 9 other little princesses for our royal celebration.
It took quite a bit of convincing, but I talked Ashlyn out of cake and into pink cupcakes for her party. It's hard to see, but they are royal carriages and crowns.

However, (thanks to her brothers) I could not get her to budge on the castle pinata. I think it turned out pretty well!

I knew I couldn't handle all the mayhem myself, so my friend Natalie came to the rescue. She saved the day multiple times - from decorating until 10:30 the night before, to providing party games, to having someone to cry with when the girls wanted nothing to do with the party games!

Here are all the BEAUTIFUL princesses! (And a few random handsome princes!)

I think "Kiss the Frog" was the biggest hit of the party. Any time you get to wear red lipstick, right?

Ashlyn blew all four candles out in one blow! It's going to be a lucky year!

A pinata is pretty tough to bust open with so many dainty princesses trying to do the job. We were lucky that Zachary, our neighbor, came by.

We enjoyed the rest of the day playing with new birthday toys and having dinner at Ashlyn's favorite place - Natalie's house! Happy Birthday, Princess! We love you!

Again and Again

The kids had no school for Rodeo Days, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went to the park with friends. Ian LOVED the slide. Luckily, his siblings wanted to take him again and again because he wanted to go - again and again.

Oh! The anticiPAtion!

A couple of other goof balls...

Our friends have a huge mesquite tree in their front yard that my kids love to climb. Whenever I tell them to load in the car, I generally go out to find them loaded in the tree.

Slides and trees. Sometimes I'd just really like to be a kid again!